0845 Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary – Trad (1744)


Ruth and Paul McCartney.

This traditional English nursery rhyme dates to around 1744. It was first published in Tommy Thumb’s Pretty Song Book with the lyrics :

Mistress Mary, Quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With Silver Bells, And Cockle Shells,
And so my garden grows

The lyrics have changed slightly over the years. The song has been recorded by Pete Seeger, Elizabeth Humphries and, The Selmer Players and Singers. Paul McCartney and his step-sister Ruth sing the song on a private tape recorded in 1963. John Lennon parodied a line from the lyrics, “And pretty maids all in a row”, in The Beatles’ 1967 song I Am The Walrus.

Now Hear This : I Am The Walrus – The Beatles (1967)


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